Author: Tom Fahy
Keywords: Magic Realism; Trobar clus; roman à clef; Orchard Park; Tom Fahy; Transcendental Fascism; Meta-Narrative; Literary Fiction; Fiction; Cryptography; Narrative Cryptography; Information Management; Literary Criticism; Experimental Novel; Narrative Poetry; Film Theory; Elitism; Aristocracy
Publisher: The Lionel William Eisley Cos.
Book contributor: www.tomfahy.org
Russell Huggins has died an indigent's death but left behind a formidable literary estate. Tom Shaw has been enlisted by The University of Maryland's Urban Archaeology Department to decipher and distill, catalogue and compile, Huggins' vast collection of single-spaced, handwritten journals and ledgers littering the second floor of Button House, a dilapidated mansion on the outskirts of Orchard Park, a Baltimore suburb. Is it but a case of riotous hypergraphia or does the University's adamancy suggest something else? Orchard Park tells the tale of one man's effort to scratch at the canvas; to peel away life’s protective layers; to decrypt meaning from the cultural artifacts by which he is surrounded -- to achieve grace through creation and redemption through imagination.
"In an unusual and unexpected format, syntax is tightened once more, and one is met with a refreshingly insistent recurrence of paragraphs in composure — a book disinterested in things Plebeian. A surely to be unwelcome departure from the hurriedly cobbled-together texts of the New York literati. Perhaps, even, a deliberate affront — a shot across the bow. And more importantly...a recognizably American note has returned to fiction — the more American for being of an unmistakably WASPish timbre..."
—John Miles Foley, 2010
Copyright: Tom Fahy (Standard Copyright License)
Fourth Edition: 2013
Publisher: Orchard Park Press
Binding: Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior: Ink Black & white
Weight: 1.5 lbs.
Dimensions: (inches) 6 wide x 9 tall
Notes: The first, second and third editions of Orchard Park are out of print and have been succeeded by a fourth edition with a new foreword and afterword by Anja Ehrlichmann and John Sprague respectively. The fourth edition does not contain an embedded cryptovariable with which to decrypt the text, though the variable remains and continues to function in earlier editions.
Orchard Park and Other Works may be subject to unannounced editorial changes; consequently, the eBook Edition should not be considered a definitive reflection of the print edition.
Reviewer: Anja Ehrlichmann, One Foot in Atlantis, 15 March 2013
Orchard Park, encrypted for the casual reader, is an occulted text – a book for initiates by an initiate.
Initiated into what?
I choose my words carefully: The comprehending reader, as opposed to the casual reader, will already have been initiated into ‘Hyperborean Esotericism.’ And while the casual reader senses that ‘O/P’ is not, in fact, a novel or literature, as such, the initiate knows it should not be a novel, and is not meant to masquerade as literature, though it is a masquerade.
What is O/P?
O/P is a Revealed Text and it is a Rune Walk: The Runes do not serve merely as chapter headings, but as 1.) Portals through which the reader is inducted 2.) As warnings, warding off those eyes for which the occulted text was not intended and 3.) As weapons with which synchronic battle is waged.
‘Orchard Park,’ ‘O/P,’ is a transliteration of two sacred Runes: 1.) The Odal Rune, which denotes ‘possession/inheritance,’ as in ‘the possession/inheritance of an estate, or ownership,’ also ‘heritage’ 2.) And the Peorð Rune, which has two associations. The first association is with the pear tree, or by extension, the Irminsul tree – sometimes less a tree than a pillar. The second association is with the flute. Here is an instance when crypsis is evident, and it becomes incumbent upon the initiated reader to decrypt the intended meaning of the text. The book’s title may refer to the ‘heritage of Irminsul,’ ‘that place where the Irminsul stands,’ or ‘the estate of the Ash Tree (the tree on which was crucified Wotan for nine days).’ It may also refer to ‘the inheritance of a song,’ or ‘the possession of a song’ the lyrics of which are contained within Orchard (Odal) Park’s (Peorð’s) leaves. Perhaps all of the interpretations are correct. If this is true, we are not reading a book, but a sacred tract or songbook, a holy work of Wotanism.
[ * ]
Orchard Park, a pagan book with a Cathar soul, is firmly couched in the Yuga, or Age, referred to as the Kali – a super-dense, involuted era (presaging the Age of Lead) wherein most if not all meanings are inverted; when falsification of history is de rigueur; when most human action is under the spell of and complicit in occult warfare; when it becomes the role of the initiate to restore meaning through a rigorous re-appropriation of ancient and sacred symbols, and by a methodical transmutation of language such that the Word once more arms rather than stealthily disarms the intended reader/initiate.
Select stations of the Rune Walk include The Castle (I.), The Grail Quest (II.), Symbology & Crypsis (III.), Disguise (IV.), etc.
I.Button House, a dying Minnesänger’s wrecked Castle, remains the pivot around which shamble, on one arthritic foot and then another, Russell Huggins’ (Fahy’s) motley cast of Hobby horse-like players. Their work is of an alchemical nature, doing with high esoteric idealism what alchemists of old did with base metals, putting the lie to the illusion, defunding the fraud of modernism with merry acts of the Imagination.
II. Grail (Old French, “Graal”) Quest: “We will tell you without telling you. We will show you and you may one day realize that the truth is represented by the less interesting of two objects…” (O/P, 329) When one thinks of the Grail Legend, one relies on his Western materialist training and conjures a cup, or plate or tablet. The Grail/Graal is also a rite, a leaping inward in order to leap outward, and the most pedestrian of objects may be adopted to symbolize such a rite, or initiation, graduating from Maya to Pure Interior Projection – reconditioning Imagination to serve the Will … that a synchronic war with involution and its agents may be fought unflaggingly.
The Grail Quest requires a Mystic Marriage – a marriage of a man with himself, or a woman with herself. And the so-called Grail itself resides wherever the Rites of Mystic Marriage are preserved. Occasionally, if the memory of the blood is sufficient, a man or woman may forgo the ancient rites, undergoing a Mystic Marriage spontaneously, thus becoming full initiates into ‘Hyperborean Esotericism.’ But more often, the Marriage must be induced in a novitiate.
III. O/P will make most sense to the initiate, for to him the utility of crypsis is made plain: The purpose of the book is obviated by the succession of symbols, the flowering of the Runes, the revelation of a story of courtly Love that yearns to breach time, exceeding the dominion of Kronos – of Love a work of art made. And … “a work of art is true to the extent that its actual or accidental form reflects the essential form conceived in the mind of the artist” (O/P, 290). The initiate will at once recognize the pursuit of Excelsior through the Rite of Loss, but never the loss of love profaned.
IV. Trobar Clus: The survival of our school of esotericism requires disguise. And in order for our message to be conveyed reliably from epoch to epoch, it must find new vehicles, and it must be performed under new marquis’ with dissimilar names and forms, this year an opera, next year a masquerade. As the involution of the Kali continues apace, our rites undergo change to compensate for a nearly full despiritualization of the Earth, and those changes require new mediums through which the message may be first conveyed, then distilled, and finally transmuted. O/P is one such recent medium. It may be read, or it may be understood.
Reviewer: Anonymous: or, A. Publisher’s Son, “Point 4.5 of the Party Program: There is No Peaceful Escape.” 30 January 2012
I dispatched a message to the author and asked him if he would be willing to print a negative review of Orchard Park. He said most certainly, if it was well-written. I said I couldn’t promise it would be especially well-written, but that I had some concerns and wanted to address them in a short review. Address them, he said: “Maybe I’ll post it,” he said. I proceeded. But in the end, in lieu of a review, I wrote a letter, and explained that he could publish it as such, if he so wished. He didn’t demur. But then, as it happens, I soon disavowed the letter and began this narrative, which is less review than tirade.
Orchard Park does three things: makes me uneasy, makes me mistrustful, and elicits in me a feeling of positive hostility. But first, rather than explain why, let me tell you what I think Orchard Park is, and what it intends to accomplish:
Orchard Park is life-centered and in the spirit of Nature, first and foremost. In other words, it is ‘nature-centered,” or pagan; it is a pagan book. Ungodly? No. But not Christian or about Christians… I am a Jew, although my father converted to Christianity when he fell in love with an Episcopalian, then converted back when he met my mother. He said, “It was a practical conversion. It was her hair did me in. Mahler did it, too. I won’t be blamed!” I don’t blame him. I could care less. Christian, Jew, whatever, but I do not like Tom Fahy’s Baldrism one bit, though it is not dissimilar to early Christianity which was wholly “above Time,” which is a phrase that Fahy likes: “My Kingdom is not of this world.” Which we seem to have forgotten, or maybe that was the plan all along—coached forgetfulness; real Christianity and capitalism do not go hand-in-hand. So on this point I was hung up, made to feel uneasy by the author, as Baldrism was also a creed for whose followers the great and future kingdom was not of this earth. Again, “above Time.”
Quick confession: I didn’t buy the book. I received an unsolicited and un-agented manuscript from the author. A no-no in the business, but maybe a last desperate attempt to get published through a reputable house. If manuscripts of that sort are of the right weight, they really do become doorstops…and those are the lucky ones. Orchard Park was lucky enough to become a doorstop. Had it not been a doorstop, I mightn’t have tripped over it, sprained my wrist, and read it. Nor would have my father. Either way, it would never be published. Not by us. “What’s wrong with it?” I asked my father. “Everything,” he replied brusquely. “Name one thing,” I demanded. He replied, “It violates the prevailing structure.” I had heard that before. He loved Bill Buckley and quoted him often. “And not only the prevailing one, but every structure. He is our sworn enemy. It was the Fahys, principally, on whom we had Cromwell march.” Strong words, and a little injudicious, but my father is nothing if not a persuasive and pompous man, whether wrong or right.
Moving on, Orchard Park is not a strictly human-centered book—the characters do not controvert natural laws. They controvert only those laws that subvert and threaten to usurp Nature, such as she is: irreducible Nature—to which man-as-irascible-degenerate is inimical. The book does not deny nature her laws, which means it must deny materialist-man his illusions which serve always the time-ensnared death-instinct, qua: applied chaos—chaos that issues from an anti-aristocratic ideology that posits man reign above nature; never, as a matter of course, kneeling before her.
And now I felt mistrustful, as there is also a current of Luddism in the book, in addition to paganism (I don't personally kneel before Nature, and I am typing this on an iPad). “It’s not Luddism,” my father shouted. “It’s fascism, you nitwit! Pure and simple. The Irish hate us. What do you think the IRA is doing in Colombia? They’re training an army against us.” “Respectfully, father, I don’t think so. You may be right about the fascism, but the IRA and FARC are Marxist-Leninist. Those are your people.” “They are your people, too!” he scolded.
They aren’t my people. And the people in Orchard Park aren’t ‘my’ people either; it’s a different tribe altogether. The author and I see progress in two different lights. I see material progress as the measure of humankind’s overall development, everyone capable of pitching in. The author does not consider ‘humankind’ per se, but only individual men and women, apart from humankind, and perceives their material, time-bound product secondary to spiritual development. The author equates much of modern progress with barbarism. It’s a book of ideas and it is agitating for a cause (in fact, the book’s centerpiece, Ajita, is a representation of the principle ideas ... incarnate and enacted), but the cause for which it agitates is something to which even I feel hostile. The author calls it 'Fascismo,' by which he must mean pure fascism. So, at once, it is implicit that this isn’t an all-inclusive book. “We could publish it as a revolutionary text, then strongly condemn it,” I said to my father. “No! He will not be permitted a voice. His cause is not our cause and that’s all there is to it.”
That’s all there was to it. But I will make this admission: this is the most fun I have ever had with one of our company doorstops. I don’t know what it must feel like to be Irish. But I can imagine what it feels like to be an Irish or Irish-American writer: terrible. There is a rule and it’s been in place since the Cromwellian Conquest of Ireland: Irish whites aren’t to be published, unless they write something suitably saccharine, like “Great Pubs of Ireland." This doesn't change the quiet fact that had I and my father not already fully alienated Tom Fahy, I would try and win back his business.
Reviewer: Thomas Byrne, “White Devil.” The Cass Wilder Report, May-June, 2012
There was once upon a time an old German saying which seems not to find an expression in English any longer: “Zukunft, oder Ruin.” Which translates, “Future, or Ruin.” Ruin was ensured the German people following the Versailles Treaty, and ruin was ensured Western man following the triumph of progressivism. The calculated consequences of the Versailles Treaty—inflation, unemployment and impoverishment—have analogs in the post-progressive era: inflation of the ego, unemployment of the imagination and intellectual impoverishment.
Out of the corruption of the imagination proceeds the confusion of purpose; out of the confusion of purpose, the loss of Destiny; out of the loss of Destiny, the loss of the Soul; and out of all this, all imperatives to Ruin. –Tom Fahy
In Orchard Park, Tom Fahy begs us to distinguish between the acts of looking and seeing, and as soon as we stop looking as a rule, we begin to see beyond the progressive spectacle, and laid bare are the ruins of our era. As soon as we stop depending upon looking—behind which expectation is the driver—forgotten truths are unveiled to seeing readers. The structure of Orchard Park is designed to guarantee that the reader remains incapable of relying upon the eroded faculties—faculties over-steeped in the leading, taming, novel—and asks the reader, once again, to hone his senses, to see, to slow down, to enjoy the passage; the book does not have to compel one forward to a climax, then a conclusion, which we now expect not only from our art (if it can still be called art) but from our own lives—neatly packaged, with little payoffs along the way for our infantile acts: buying, eating, fucking, marrying, getting promoted.
Orchard Park wants the reader to stop looking and expecting; it wants the reader to see:
When we are actively engaged in the act of seeing, we are not necessarily ‘looking’ any longer. Where looking takes place on a formidable, temporal level, seeing takes place on an atemporal one, occurring at a remove from the traditional mode of perception. Looking denotes a physical form of perception. In contrast, seeing denotes spiritual vision, epiphany, or deep understanding. In other words, seeing is not a method of perception which obeys natural laws, or is executed by the eyes alone. (Post-World War II Steganography, Cont’d.: Roy Strand (1971-1970), Orchard Park and Other Works, pp. 118-123)
To see is to arm oneself against the enemies of heroism, the enemies of radiance, the enemies of Joy, and to choose Future over Ruin, art over anti-art, reason over sentimentality, and an alert intellectual posture over the mischief-makers in our midst. If he is among nature’s elect, when he sees, a man breaks the rationalist mould; he is unshackled from the dark counterpart by whom he has been trained from the cradle in the crafts cosmopolitanism, disorder, faithlessness, and unscrupulousness; he rises above the craven pursuit of subtlety and intrigue.
To see is to be able to defend oneself and one’s family against dissolution by forces from without, and it is the aim of Orchard Park, a lesson at a time, to accomplish this in the reader: to restore in the receptive a trace of innocence and nobility and to supplant the seeds planted there by the Leveler.
Reviewer: John Sprague, “Testimony Before the Standing Committee on Whiskey, Truth, and Elephants." Washington, D.C., 2012
If there’s one thing I have learned, it’s how little truth matters, and how little we care about whether or not we get it, or if we get justice at all. I typically settle for less than justice. I settle. I settle for bi-weekly payoffs from an NGO that ostensibly labors to rescue an untold number of young women from sexual slavery the world over. To its credit, the organization has hundreds of open cases on which as many employees work day and night, but to little effect. Upwards of 750,000 people (mostly women, and of whom, more than half are white) are trafficked across international borders. Almost all of them will serve as some sort of sex slave to the urban moneyed. For every slave freed, two more are dumped on the open market. It doesn’t matter how good an NGO’s website looks; despite what they say, they are treading water, swimming upstream, and in this context, even failure is profitable.
I hate it. Ten or twelve plus years ago, I was different. Better. Nicer. I swore on my life that I would not become an asshole. Tom Fahy was one of my witnesses. We sat in a Dupont Circle bar and I said, “Shoot me if I become an asshole.” Tom said, “Stay in this town and you don’t have a chance.” I didn’t have a chance. “What are you going to do?” I asked him. He said, “I’m going to tell the truth.”
He did. I didn’t. I still don’t. But now I have a reason to start. Two years after he first publishes it, I receive in the mail a copy of Tom’s Orchard Park. I read the book, grow nervous, put it away, and try to forget about it. I can’t forget about it. A handful of months pass and I give Tom a call, or try to. I can’t get through, not to the old numbers. I send a letter and get no response. Another month passes and I get a call. It is Tom. “You did it, “ I say. “I think so,” he replies. “But nobody knows what the hell it’s about, do they?” He didn’t respond. A painful minute later: “I’m in town," he says. "Let’s get together.” We do.
We meet that evening at Billy Martin’s because that’s what we used to do. Tom looks the same, almost identical, but a little tired. I know I don’t look the same, but he doesn’t mention it. I’m fat and I hate it. I talk about my family. Tom squints and talks about a book he is reading. We drink. Then we really talk.
“Thank you for not using my real name in the book,” I say. He smiles, leans back in his chair and cackles loudly, almost maniacally. “I should have used your real name,” he says.
“Have they caught up with you?” I ask him, by which I mean the usual dogs that intelligence typically sick on people that go off-reservation. He says yes, goes into some detail…
“The IRS, of course, but their ruse was pitiable.” Tom actually talks this way. I am used to it. It is hard to get used to it. “I didn’t make any money last year, and not much the year before. Nevertheless, they wanted me to pay almost thirty grand on an imaginary half-million in profits.” More maniacal laughter. “And I no longer have any working phones. Ring, click, click, silence, new tone, click, new tone, ring…”
Funny. Sort of. Although I knew it wasn’t really funny. I’m not sure the 21st century had been good to Tom. At any rate, it was surely worse than the late nineties had been. “You couldn’t find an agent,” I say. Tom’s laughter was beginning to make me nervous. He pulled his hair away from his ears, took out his hearing aids and laid them on the bar. “Don’t let me forget these,” he says. “Too much feedback from the crowd. I can hear you.”
“You can see me,” I say. Tom was one of the best lip-readers in the business. One whole summer he spent sitting behind two-way mirror, no microphone, watching subjects, taking notes. And that’s all I’ll say. Sometimes the job picks you and sometimes you pick the job. Back in the day, the job picked Tom, then he quit and chose life. There is no redemption in the job. Don’t I know it. I’m a company man and I hate it. In the book, a little more than a third of the way through, Tom’s alter-ego Russell dashes off a letter to George Irwin in which he discusses two things: Quality & Anger. This was a deeply affecting piece of the puzzle for me. He says “…craft is a sorry excuse for the absence of quality…Quality assumes the role that craft cannot fulfill. …Quality denotes honest effort—effort in the absence of artifice…” I paraphrase. Disconcerting stuff, however. “’They cannot peacefully coexist,’” I say to Tom, who is rubbing his eyes. “What can’t?” he says.
“From your book,” I say “Writing and craft. Quality and craft.”
He didn’t laugh this time. “Right,” he said.
This is what Tom says about ‘Anger’: "Behind every boxer’s punch there is intention, pure and true. It belongs to the fighter alone. It is rare that he discloses his secret to his opponent. His secret represents his strength and the longer it is withheld, the stronger he becomes. His secret swells in his arms and swarms in his ears; it makes his heart as large as an elephant’s; and as it pounds, it stirs the dead and explodes within his opponent’s ears. His anger is monolithic."
Sitting there in Billy Martin’s, coasters and shot glasses spread out before us, I knew I was looking at a man that had saved up a lot of punches and had thrown them all at once. No one showed up for the fight. It was a knockout in the first round. His opponent still lay splayed out on the mat. He would lie there a long time. The only sound came from the juice surging to the flood-lamps above the ring. “How long are you going to stand there?” I ask Tom. “Where?” he says. “In the ring,” I say. “As long as it takes,” he says. I believed him.
I believe him. Orchard Park is burning a hole through the bottom of a footlocker in a guest bedroom closet. It’s the only book in my possession that makes me nervous. Because I know what it is about. I was there.
My name is John Sprague and I am a witness.
Reviewer: Aaron Desmond, Snide Magazine, Baltimore, MD, April 2012
Writing and music have been Tom Fahy’s sadhana, and it has made him not a cent. He will be the first to attest to the fact that the material rewards for serving one’s vision unwaveringly are few, but the spiritual rewards inestimable.
In the past, at the author’s expense, I made jokes about Orchard Park, although I knew that my sarcasm could not but further undermine the book—a book already drawn and quartered by the establishment in an effort to suppress its contents, the core of which were, as advertised by the author, encrypted. It took 24 months for the establishment to decrypt Orchard Park before launching a quiet, administrative campaign to censor it and attempt to eviscerate Fahy financially.
As I now understand the full import of the messages lodged in Orchard Park, I regret my former snide remarks and wish to both formally apologize for and retract them. I do not know if Fahy’s book will enjoy a jolly fate or meet a dismal end. The establishment is barbarous and its malice is unimaginative; it invariably serves explicitly “the good.” If this is true, Orchard Park is genuinely a terrible book that attempts to un-knit the priorities of modern man: Democracy, tolerance and whatnot.
Tom Fahy serves an alien purpose. If the establishment is correct, his intellectual crimes are against humanity, and his is the most vile of sins: in-humaneness toward the hodgepodge of Western man. Fahy, by his own admission, is a deeply prejudiced author—prejudiced in favor of Antiquity, prejudiced in favor of the human spirit, prejudiced in favor of a transcendental will-to-power. Of these prejudices he is guilty—guilty in the public trials of our progressive era.
We should all hope to be so guilty.
Reviewer: Philip Hartley, “Each Arrow Overshot His Head.” Berchtesgaden Review of Books, Vol. 1, No. 1, May-June 2012
It is an unseasonably warm day in March. I sit with Fahy under an awning of an Italian restaurant in Poughkeepsie, NY a handful of blocks from the edge of the Hudson River. Overhead, a bald eagle tucks in its wings and aims for the horizon like a missile. Several minutes pass before Fahy and I speak again about practical matters. He is thinner than I remember and his hair longer, but the lightning flashing in his eyes is unchanged. I have made the trip to talk about his novel Orchard Park, which although popular in Germany, remains obscure in North America.
In person and in writing, Tom Fahy is openly hostile to Christianity and this has made Orchard Park’s analysis difficult for liberals and conservatives alike. Although Fahy’s weltanschauung proscribes implicitly superstitious systems of belief, it does not discount counter-universalist systems of belief uninterested in spiritual devirilization. The cult that recurs throughout Orchard Park is referred to as Baldrist; that is, one adheres to the tenets of ‘Baldrism,’ after fair Baldr, a Norse god and second son of Odin. Baldrism, simply stated, opposes Christianization of the soul, and seeks to reinvent the soul of Western man in the image of his ancestors, initiating him through intimative prose. “The initiated reader,” Fahy says while shaking his empty coffee cup at a passing waitress, “is a blood-brother and –sister, a good Celt, intuitive, a natural seer, soulful, and intellectually racinated.”
In the context of Orchard Park, Baldr and Baldrism are the integral expressions of Fahy’s creation, 'Transcendental Fascism,' which is first and foremost an idea, as opposed to a pure political initiative. “Transcendental Fascism takes advantage of the innate individualistic tendencies in its members, and in its first phase is necessarily leaderless,” says Fahy. “It is requisite, then, that each member abide by an enduring survival instinct, never resort to half-measures, and aspire always to the cause of essentialism. The primacy of Essence is all-important to a Transcendental Fascist, but the Essence of a man’s soul should not be conflated with the essence of mere things, the existence of which is not, in my opinion, worth debating.”
If not an attempt to create a new religion, Orchard Park, in a very practical sense, serves a regenerative purpose, drawing out of ancient pyres ideas-of-old which contrast starkly with those of the over-civilized present, reemphasizing the eminence of Nature to which at all times the overzealous intellect is subservient. Orchard Park itself is a peripheral township undergoing general resorption into the landscape at the end of an Age; cyclicity is represented by urban decay and that decay is celebrated, and often defended, from renewal. “A perennial Struggle was concluded in the twentieth century—a struggle against general degeneration. It was not a winnable struggle, but it was a noble one; it is in the nature of heroic men to challenge the Fates, to thwart intellectual falsity…but at the end of an Age, the valiant among men are granted a reprieve from the Struggle. They withdraw from the cities into the country, while the metropolis’ are turned into worlds of ice and mist.”
And like the perennial ‘Struggle’ to which Fahy referred, our interview was thus concluded.
Reviewer: Komparu Inoue, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture, Japan, 3 January 2012
It is a terrible era during which to make an art book. Anti-art is still fine. Anti-art has been fine for six decades. What is anti-art? It is abstraction and its perpetrators are monkeys. But we love monkeys. We no longer like men—glorious men, able and willing to describe the world as they have found and experienced it. We will not pay to see vivid men in action. If we are not manipulated, we feel as though we have been cheated; that the show wasn’t worth the price of admission. But so enamored are we with anti-art, and so long have we been manipulated by it, that our tastes have been irrevocably narrowed; we do not realize that our artists have been supplanted by entertainers who are every bit as enslaved by the modern obsession with plot as we.
But the human heart does not plot.
The more accustomed the reader becomes to abstraction, the more degraded his will, the less discerning his judgment, the duller his acumen. Nowadays, conceptual abstractions are packaged within the framework of structured texts, swaddled in plot, and are at the mercy of clever narrative.
Oh, the rewards of literacy!
But is the text heightening the reader’s awareness? Is the reader inspired? Has the author risked himself in any way for his audience, or has he sought to simply deceive it? No longer are the minds of the literate tuned for the truth, as the truth does not first aim to entertain, and soon it becomes the imperative of the author to appeal to this base penchant for titillation.
In 2011, I stumbled upon a crude Japanese translation of an art book by an American author that strove to be nothing if not a testament to the truth—the truth as the author saw it. It was written with a martial flair that could be nothing but alienating to a readership primed for patriotic dross—an audience accustomed to being baited by anti-artists.
The book is called Orchard Park, and the author is Tom Fahy.
As I read, knowing little about the author, it occurred to me how like a Noh play this book was—regulated as though by its own strict iemoto system—and in some instances, like Kyögen, or comedia dell-arte. I read with the reserve that was expected of me by my mother while in attendance of Noh as a child. Then, feet swinging, I was less interested in Matsukaze than in intermission wagashi. But as I read Orchard Park, a truly exotic affair in Japanese, my thoughts were rarely of food.
As in Noh Drama, the chief characters are male, and it is through the males that the lives of women are narrated. There are many types of Noh, but Tom Fahy’s book reads most like Kyōran-mono, which would be called a ‘madness play’ in English. In Kyōran-mono, a tragedy befalls the protagonist, usually lost love, and the heartache is narrated through a series of formal acts interspersed with shorter comedic routines, or vignettes.
Although Noh Drama is not always allegorical, Fahy’s is explicitly so: each episode, in sum, describes the liberation of Imagination from Western Rationalization. And never is the allegory bastardized for the sake of plot or forward momentum.
Orchard Park is a radical departure from the anti-art popular in the West, but in Japan, with a better translation, it could find a warm home.
Reviewer: A. S. Brun-Fournier (pseudonym), Carcassonne, Languedoc-Roussillon, 2010
If not in name, Orchard Park’s core philosophy, Transcendental Fascism, or ‘Fascismo,’ precedes the book as an enduring, but under-articulated Idea. The book charts the author’s awakening to the Idea and its full articulation but does so in a categorically structured way designed to assist the reader along the path of his own initiation.
Orchard Park is not an autobiography and it is not the work of a politician. Nor is it the work of a romantic. It is the work of a realist that has brought to bear on the subject matter the fruits of choice experiences and meetings with a broad spectrum of figures, some public and some private, some savory and some not. Whether or not the information with which the author was privileged was delivered in strictest confidence, it makes its way into the pages of Orchard Park with a sort of boldness that isn’t welcome in the censorious publishing world of the West. The author relates aloud and in detail what many of us already suspected or knew about the machinery behind September 11th, but dared not breathe a word for fear of losing our jobs. But oddly, the author’s insights into the turn-of-the-century intelligence apparatus, now quite different, was presented as an outsized aside to the book’s overriding imperative:
The bulk of the book is of a spiritual order, and is the product of hammered and tempered will, not accident—an Event—of which there are very few in 21st century literature, as so much about the experience of a book nowadays hinges upon that which is sordid or shamelessly patronizing, or itself an open agency of decay. Probably unconsciously, the author avoids lewdness. Even the unsavory characters do not descend into carnal impropriety (with one exception in the novella, Ajita). Many of the characters are typified by an Edwardian reserve which, it can be concluded, is an implicit attribute of Transcendental Fascism.
A word on Fascismo: Orchard Park is an open assault on Democracy. It doesn’t like it and is quick to deride it. We are very accustomed to books in which tolerance is implicit, especially here in France, a bastion of egalitarianism…on paper. So it is no wonder if Orchard Park leaves a bad taste in the mouth, like bread made with sulfurous water. We don’t care about righteous Ideas. We are beyond Ideas.
And this is the argument against which the author rails: to be beyond Ideas is to be fully degenerate, fully deracinated, fully without Identity, fully without vital Power, fully without constructive Will.
Reviewer: Gert Joubert, “Not a Boer, but Not a Bore: An Interview with Tom Fahy.” Durban Quarterly (Persönlich Auflage), Spring 2012
GJ: I want you to have the first word. I don’t think people put two and two together. If they know you are a composer they don’t know you write, or if they know you write, they don’t know you compose. Are you a writer that composes or a composer that writes?
TF: I think I’m a composer that wrote a book. It took a little over twelve years to write. The manuscript itself was met with so much open hostility and resistance from agents that I finally published it myself. Then the book was met with equal parts resistance and contempt from American readers. Luckily, the bulk of the negative reviews were written by degenerates for whom English was a second language. Anyway, so discouraged did I become that I finally wound up the book and let it go, like a mechanical doll; I all but turned my back on it. Months passed, then a year, then two years. In the meantime, while I was under the impression it was languishing, settling into the obscurity I thought was its destiny, it was appropriated.
GJ: Tell me. By who?
TF: Well, by your own Boers, for one, or what’s left of them…and among non-Khoi Afrikaners—which, you can imagine, arrived as quite a shock. What about the book was resonating with Afrikaners, and Boers particularly? The implicit nationalism, or maybe the unconcealed bitterness projected on Anglos? It is still a little bit of a mystery. A handful of months ago a Japanese translation cropped up, and in Japanese I suppose it’s quite a different affair, different emphases…and then a cult following. I don’t control the Japanese translation, so it has a life of its own that I don’t completely understand. It is even gaining traction in the north of Germany: Rügen, Wismar—beach towns, confined to Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. As far as I know, it’s still read in English there. I think only at knife-point is an American disposed to reading it.
GJ: The Trekboers were frontiersmen, separatists, and Afrikaner Calvinists. Afrikaner Calvinism, like your book’s Baldrism, was designed to serve a very particular subset of the population—the Dutch, the Germans, and French. If nationalism is implicit in your book, its religious qualities are explicit. Predestination, for instance, is an unbroken thread in Orchard Park, and in my own family, it was always stressed of fiction, if it could not be brought under the purview of religion, it didn’t belong in the house. Orchard Park has been in my house for a little over twelve months, both my daughters have read it, and my wife hasn’t condemned it. I know you’re descended from some of the same Scots and Irish stock, so you’ve not been rejected offhand on the basis of race. Is it a white book?
TF: It is, esoterically, a pro-nordicist book. There is one exception—Jagger Nomzamo, the Zulu. But he serves the interests of his own people from the beginning. In the book, as in real life, the man on whom the character is based is an exemplary nationalist—totally unwavering; the Zulu do not have a better warrior among their ranks. His enemies are your enemies: the Anglo and their metals and mining agents. Esteban Suárez, the Cuban, is descended in real life from Galicians and Asturians on his father’s side and Welsh on his mother’s. I can’t help it that he developed an obsession with Patrick Nowell-Smith, the Brit. But not an altogether bad obsession, as Pat was not only a tremendous human but also perhaps Britain’s best philosopher. Notice he is excluded from Wikipedia.
GJ: So race is an important aspect of the book?
TF: Of course. I’m not channeling anyone else’s experience of the world but my own and that of the people to whom I feel an integral supra-spiritual connection.
GJ: And that it has met with resistance in the West… Is this because of its open endorsement of fascism?
TF: I’m not sure it openly endorses fascism. I think it obliquely endorses it. I struggled with the methods whereby which I could write a fascist-lite book, making tongue-in cheek allusions to autarkist ideology, without slapping the reader in the face. Clearly the veneer is thin: the audience for which the book was intended has discovered it of their own volition, which is satisfying. I openly endorse a variant of vanilla fascism or Italian fascism that I call Transcendental Fascism, which emphasizes the underlying spirit of a nation that must be instilled from one generation to the next in order to positively reinforce a lasting national identity.
GJ: My daughter, an avid reader—she loved the poetry especially—said the book was ahead of its time.
GJ: Yes. She is seventeen now.
TF: The book, I’m afraid, has come too late. And its audience, at this advanced stage, is pretty small. That being said, the audience it has found is a good one. I’m happy with it. Maybe Sarie can convince her classmates at University next year to each buy a copy. Then I’ll fly down. We’ll drink Overberg wine and watch Comrades in Durban.
GJ: I can’t think of anything I’d like more.
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Eoghan Wyndham -
March 16, 2013
The Politics of Revilement
If a book is flatly reviled, but the revilement precedes a full, thoughtful and judicious appraisal, it is safe to say some nerve, somewhere, has been struck.
Rachel Katz -
March 16, 2013
quisling [ˈkwɪzlɪŋ] n.
It will, as it must, go the way of Vidkun Quisling’s “Universistic Aphorisms”: Nowhere.
Tom Collins -
February 20, 2013
Who sank Atlantis?
There is no way to paint a lovely picture of the author: boozy, angry, with an unsavory past coloured by unwinsome characters with suspect aims. The book is a miracle. If you finish it, if you know what it is about, you'll know it is accurate and terrible. Don't let the poetry mislead you: this is a story about bad men. Which isn't to say bad men can't be redeemed. These bad men, however, regardless of station, never sought redemption; they knew what they were doing when they started picking at the hem of civilization. This is their diary. You'll find this book here because no one will permit it to show up elsewhere.
Anja Ehrlichmann -
December 29, 2012
One Foot in Atlantis
Fahy's work is of an alchemical nature, doing with high esoteric idealism what alchemists of old did with base metals, putting the lie to the illusion, defunding the fraud of modernism with merry acts of the Imagination.
Exegesis 101 -
April 26, 2012
Dolorosa 401 - The Way of Grief
Anonymous, “Dolorosa 401 - The Way of Grief,” York University, Toronto, Canada
“He’s one of us,” Patrick (Patrick Nowell-Smith), exclaimed, waving a typewritten sheaf of papers he’d gotten from an ‘associate’ in the States. “By which you mean,” I deduced, “he is offensive.” “By which I mean,” Patrick went on, “he offends as a matter of course.” Which was really, often, all that mattered to Patrick.
Tom said to me, “I think there is something in a man that is unsettled until in another he has found a kindred spirit.” I can attest to the fact that Tom and Patrick found such a spirit in one another, chiefly through letter-writing in the late 90s … Patrick at the end of his life and Tom nearer the beginning. The roles that both played in one another’s lives was of a cosmic order, and time has proven how unkind man is to those that would answer a calling not wholly of this Earth, but transcendent. Patrick’s calling was not entirely of this Earth, and the rapidity with which his former colleagues forgot his exotic intellectual legacy obviates this fact, when much lesser men are lauded their meager contributions, or celebrated as champions of filth and deniers of eternity.
With Tom, an embittered ally, Patrick waged a silent 11th hour battle against those that would dance on the ashes of the work of reasonable men and women. It did not matter if he did not have time on his side, or if a life’s work was laid waste, made less-than-artifact, bolshevized, for he had witnessed the true indignities suffered by the torch-bearers of not mere civility, but civilization, and could not condone by passivity the work of the brood of the Father of Lies—the cultural Dissimulator—who make a mockery of precious, essential Ethics, which is not, as the children of a singularly backward world surely are taught, a matter of platitudinous right or wrong; for much that is right, Patrick and Tom knew, is struck down dead as wrong.
Theirs was a battle that did not labor under illusions. They did not expect to turn the tide; to conquer single-handedly the reign of untruth. They wanted, simply, to stand; to salute symbolically their spiritual kinsmen; to say boldly, “We have heard the horn. And when once more it blows, we will answer.” Patrick awaited, and Tom still awaits, a world that has not as yet been born. But while struggling in the Old World, as Patrick called it, both would honor in their work those principles that would be premier in the New World: comradeship, blood, quality… If he were able, Patrick would from the grave argue that he envisioned something positively theocratic of the New World, though it was only in letters with Tom that the architecture of such a world was considered, and wherein which each painted with fine strokes the shape of superior human material to come, and which must come and endure if glory is to be found on Earth.
Patrick and Tom wrote often of the agony each experienced, when in their peers they watched one dim flame wink out after another, as if that flame danced on the tip of nebbish wicks soon submerged in the softening wax in which they were planted. No, not only agony, but dismay—a personal Via dolorosa. Theirs was a pitiless sorrow for man, tempered by the conviction of renewal—a renewal neither expected to enjoy in their own lifetimes, but one for which they would work tirelessly in their own way. Truth, once more, would be revealed, as are all things veiled by those that would form an unholy, short-sighted and lucrative alliance with the purveyors of untruth, and on their behalf sow deceit.
Tom’s testament to the battle is Orchard Park, with pieces of which Patrick was familiar, and of which he approved, as there is much in Orchard Park that is an open homage to Patrick’s legacy, his life-work, his world-view, and his constant commitment to quality. Tom took heart in the proof that there was someone else like himself, willing to work while the principles for which he fought were shelled; while disaster loomed—typing in a gas mask in the ruins of a burning city. Because through the smoke he could parse stars, and like the timeless wisdom that was the target of his enemies, they were unassailable.
I have not described Orchard Park in detail, but I have sketched out a peripheral relationship that was integral to the book’s development. In any case, those that are meant to read it, finally do, or as Patrick used to say: “If you write in the Old World, and against it, your work must die, go missing, be veiled, before it can live the life for which it was destined in the New World.”
Dieter Allyn Heim -
April 23, 2012
Our Chosen Weapon
Dieter Heim, “Orchard Park and Other Works by Tom Fahy: Our Chosen Weapon,” Hyperborean Times, Vol. 66, No. 3, May-June 2012
“Few people have the imagination for reality.” –Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Orchard Park is pitted against the not informidable rationalist democratic expansionism into the last redoubts of Primeval Imagination, for the full regeneration of which [Primeval Imagination] the author devises a plan, but in his campaign toward this end—regeneration—he is alone; his allies are conjured allies: George Irwin, David Duff, James Trainer, the late Allayne Ashby; along with his second-order partisans: Roy Strand, Frank Le Croix, Val Tyner, and others. “I could not have imagined how lonely the tail end of an Age. I looked in earnest for allies, found none, which isn’t to say I didn’t find a host of frauds, pretenders, repeaters, hysterics, and spiritual Halflings. I found those persons in abundance, men and women both, and they were soulless materialists, secret Marxists, and waffling backstabbers,” said the author to me over the phone. Which is to say, folks ‘determined by history,’ or ‘in Time’—a recurring argument of the book, often veiled, but thinly so.
The author discusses Carl Jung’s consideration of the “Spiritual Problem of Man.” While Jung argues the ‘problem,’ founded in the psyche, may be dealt with through action of a creative sort (in regulated action)—and of which there are fewer and fewer examples in the post-industrial/-modern West, as leisure time is packed with ideological force-feedings—the author argues that the ‘harrowed psyche’ is not the State’s or an Ideologue’s natural subject, and need not submit; the subject may, as the Hindu’s of yesterday taught, rise ‘above Time,’ a concept of which I was ignorant until my talk with the author, who employs this idea repeatedly. While working ‘above Time,’ or even ‘against Time,’ as may be the natural inclination of the subject, one must consider “the attainment of creative proficiency his ultimate aim.”
Orchard Park is a philosophical text, first and foremost, and also, the author says, “a declaration of war.” The author has declared war against the expansion of dead and soulless anti-artists into the domain of a vibrant remnant of willful creators whose works are not denominated by matter that aims to represent value—not silver or gold or paper or copper; works that cannot be brokered, that do not tolerate the foreign element (the go-between), that would market a man’s will for a share of his soul. His war is against the church of the simpleton, the entertainer, the constant comedienne, the natural slave; his battering-ram rocks against a door behind which he knows roils an impossible force—an avalanche of water in which he is sure to be drowned. But that we live or die is unimportant: there is only everlasting glory in the Will to engage one’s enemies, to wish on them a sleep from which there can be no waking—extinction.
“A revolution is governed by the souls of its members. Effectively, it is one soul. The revolution with a leader is doomed, which is why, I suppose, the disgruntled are encouraged to seek leadership.” –Tom Fahy
Orchard Park is also a revolutionary text. Another reviewer has already mentioned the author’s distaste for pure abstraction. The author elaborates:
“I think there is something distasteful and fundamentally perverse about abstraction. In letters, I have sought to combat abstraction by design and method, all in an effort to spare the reader the distress that is the aim of dissonance. In music, in order to better understand the conceits of abstraction, I have experimented with dissonance. The outcome is invariably ugly. Rarely, if ever, does the honest listener (like the honest reader) find rewards in cacophony, which may very easily be concealed in linear narrative. I consider Dada and Accidental Music examples of abstraction: both do nothing but undermine the listener, unseat reason, and actively dissimulate. If I have produced abstract music, it is in an effort to expose its bland conceits.
“Orchard Park was constructed to combat the deceits of modern fiction and literary fiction, which is without a message. Modern, degenerate fiction entertains, but that is all…; it is without a creed, it is without an audience of violent bearing, it is without beauty, it is without cause, and it does not aspire. In books, as in music, it is the dilettante that esteems deformity and erects roadblocks to beauty; that would condition all of us to see with jaundiced eyes and hear with wax-filled ears. We are no longer able to distinguish between hoax and reality. We are trained to want tales of things and places, not of Being and Ideas.”
Perhaps, in our enlightened era, Tom Fahy’s Orchard Park asks too much of the reader—demands more time and attention than he is able to spare to a seemingly esoteric cause. Doesn’t the reader deserve entertainment? Perhaps his “audience of violent bearing” has simply disappeared from the Earth for good, replaced by the aesthete, the cultured, the critic… “Sanctimoniousness is universally in vogue,” the author says to me. “Nowhere will you find a person that wants to partake of a hard and sensual education. By the time she is twelve, a child thinks she is worldly and wise; she knows what is right. She is also dead.” Russell Huggins, the author’s alter ego, describes a ‘sensual education’ thus:
The first of Huggins’ criterion points to a conscious relation to Nature. In other words, one must look without oneself, into the natural world. In this way, one partakes of a sensual education, or a form of education that is conducted by the senses. Only through such an education, and in concordance with the deepened awareness of the natural world that would logically follow such a method of education, Huggins argues, will a perception of a neo-fascismoistic order be developed. In short, through one’s unmediated experience of Nature, one may be trained back from a sense experience perverted by worldly life into one that is unspoiled and childlike. (Orchard Park and Other Works, p. 61)
If Orchard Park is nothing else, it is a militant celebration of Imagination—a literary guerrilla handbook written to arm its readers against a Marxist occupation of the mind. I recommend it, but I doubt that will make a difference…not at the end of an Age.
James B. Eden -
April 20, 2012
For a good time, call...
Eleven years ago I had a nervous breakdown. At that time I stopped reading books and I stopped watching TV. I collected disability and plotted my next move. I did not leave the house. Sometimes I shaved and sometimes I didn’t. Sometimes I bathed and sometimes I didn’t. Three years into the funk my sister’s six-year-old son comes over with a box of LEGOS. It was one of those small LEGO kits with which you could build a car. Nothing ambitious. I built the car. Actually it was a moon rover, all gray with treaded tires and an antenna. I still have it. It is parked in one of my eighty-eight LEGO garages in a LEGO world that spans three floors, four countries (one of which is in the process of breaking up like the Balkans), and is populated with three-thousand and eleven LEGO citizens at last census. One colored LEGO piece at a time and a small fortune later, I began to heal from something awful that happened in 2001.
I am 44. I am not the only grown man that has chosen an alternative therapy in order to first cope and then slowly but surely reenter general population. Before I was able to leave my own house, I had to become Prime Minister of a small but vibrant tropical island country that spans two bedrooms, a hallway and a bathroom. But now I leave my own house. I get dressed, shave and leave, usually with a friend—my sister’s now nearly fifteen-year-old kid. Over eight years ago he introduced me to LEGOS and this year he introduced me to the Internet. I knew what it was, of course, and up until 2001 had spent a lot of time on it—shopping on eBay, researching wedding rings for the woman to whom I was about to propose…that kind of thing. Now I am back on the Internet. I have one neutral, LEGO-free room in the house (I call it Switzerland—a good place to which the respective heads of the various countries may convene for conflict resolution), and this is where I have my computer. I don’t browse the Internet for things to buy or sell or look for wedding rings. I listen to and download free music, most of which I find right here at the Internet Archive. To me, the IA is a country within my neutral country. Four years ago I started listening or downloading and listening later. I have discovered many new and exciting artists but I soon found a favorite: Tom Fahy. He will be happy to learn that the national anthem of each of my LEGO countries is one of his lovely songs.
A year ago I started reading again and my inaugural book was Tom Fahy’s Orchard Park. Reading isn’t a simple affair as there are things of which I don’t want to be reminded, so I have a rule: no violent books, no spooky ones, and no blood and guts. I had listened to the companion album to the book many times and it didn’t seem to have any sharp edges and so I concluded the book would be safe as well. I downloaded it from Community Texts here at the IA, and then printed it out a little bit at a time. I have now read the entire book aloud three times, once before the populations of each LEGO country. They love it and I do, too. I have two therapists, one who is a dog and the other a lovely woman named Dr. Anne. I shared the book with the human therapist and explained how liberating the experience had been. She read it and soon came to the conclusion that the book may also be of value to other clients who had experienced similar trauma. She always says, “If it doesn’t hurt you, it may be good for you.” It isn’t often that you discover a book that doesn’t have sharp edges; that doesn’t want to hurt you. This is a safe book, a satisfyingly unusual book, and a therapeutic book. And I am something of an authority on alternative therapies Thank you, Tom Fahy.
Laura Le Croix -
April 9, 2012
A New Secular Bible
Laura Le Croix, Orchard Park Gazette, Kunst und Kultur, B1, 9 April 2012
Considered a secular bible of Transcendental Fascism, Orchard Park is a book “against Time,” with ideas “against Time,” celebrating a cast of intellectual Khans. There is no question but that it will be ignored, if for no better reason, than because it requires patience, a quality that is anathema to the casual reader, who is sure, after cursory inspection, to not like it, and what is more, to be quick to denounce it—a curiously atavistic reaction to which Orchard Park and its author are accustomed; it does not address the primitive among living men, and does not, under any circumstances, kowtow to the expectations of the hoi polloi; it was written to elevate, not to appease.
This is a book that does not hope, that does not encourage hope in its readers, that does not seek to save or dispense prescriptions to modern man, but rather, embraces a systemic, cultural unfurling, and describes the actions of men that aim to hasten said unfurling...of history, of culture. It is the answer to the cultural Technocrat’s obsession with progress; it is the seawall against which the wave on which the cultural Dissimulator is carried breaks; it operates in strict contravention of all that is soul-killing, vulgar and ignoble in the West, resuscitating the gods of yore and re-invoking the time-honored religions against which organized superstition can mount no practical defense.
The book, composed of a series of acts, episodes and arias, describes, piece by piece, a movement led by men who aim to cut out by force what is merely clever in man, what is subservient in man, and those backward instincts in simple men which forestall a clean-spirited, ethical New Order. Orchard Park is not only “against Time,” but “against Progress.” It is not the cry of a cynic, but the battle cry of legions against the exponents of vanity, of equality, of humaneness, of the holiness of tolerance at any cost. Orchard Park was not written to appeal to what is rational in men, but to inspire what remains of their spirits—what is divine, what is unchangeable, and what is timeless.
Orchard Park shamelessly promotes those qualities in its characters that reflect a will-to-the-heroic. It instructs, slowly but surely, the reader on a course that will enable him to arm himself against that which is trifling in culture, to cease to be mere “passers-of-time,” to think once more after an intense fashion; to rediscover in himself a destiny that is purposeful. Orchard Park wasn’t written for the intellectually lazy or for the pathologically credulous; it was written for the would-be revolutionary and for those still possessed of common sense: the natural elite. It was not written for the over-educated, for tenured priests, for the liberal, or for the soul-annihilating Democratic civilizers to whose demand for obeisance is sacrificed everything, including the mastery over one’s own destiny.
If Orchard Park has one aim, it is to restore in man those truths—ethical, aesthetical and metaphysical—of which he has been deprived by the State Organism of which he has been made a mere component-piece. It is, simply stated, the overriding cause of Orchard Park's author to inspire in the reader the vital desire to overwhelm the pernicious assaults of the Technocrat and the Dissimulator and to become, themselves, men and women “against Time.”
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